History: Nudity (Scientific)

We will now explore what science says about our early ancestors and nudity. As stated in the first part , discoveries of eight fossilized teeth in cave of Israel, is making some waves in scientific community. These teeth are 400,000 years old, older than any fossils in Africa, and may be rewriting history as we know it.

As we read in the first part the Bible says we (mankind) began in area surrounded by four rivers the Euphrates, Pison, Gihon and the third called “Hiddekel” which is assumed to be the Tigris. Israel is roughly 730 miles from Istanbul Turkey, Africa is further away form Turkey than Israel. Does this mean science has confirm the origins of Man as being somewhere in Turkey? Possibly. What ever the case It is now believed that Man first evolved from the same ancestors as the apes and other primates.

The first “hairless apes”, as we have often referred to ourselves and our distant cousins as, appeared about 2 million years ago. We continued to evolve and many human species existed until we came into existence 200,000 years ago, with neanderthals sharing the earth until they too died as a species. All of them were nude as far as we know, and early on so were we, but for the most of our existence we and the neaderthals learned to wear garments for protection.

Recent evidence has shown that neaderthals were smarter than we originally gave them credit for. We may have learned skills from them that helped us to survive and even interbred with them. Evidence also shows that some of us do carry traces of neaderthal DNA. More advanced we may be, but we are not so much more advanced then some of our hairless cousins.

Between different times during the Ice Age(s), the ice receeded we moved steadily northward, When the ice returned, we needed protection from the cold, so either we and neanderthals fashioned garments made from the furs we were using for other needs. We slept on furs, wrapped our meager belongings in skins, and now made clothes. Soon “Head Lice” of that time lived in the hairy regions of our bodies began adapting to clothes, and living in our clothing. This was the birth of a new species, the common body louse.

Because of archiological finds inclucing finding ancient garment, some contain body lice, we know the body louse first evolved roughly 170,000 years ago, after the new environment called “clothing” was created. Body lice would not have survived with out clothing to hide and live in. Clothing almost immediately to represent status, the best hunters had the best furs, the leaders of the tribe also wore the best as the hunters honored theirs leaders with gifts or offerings.

Partial or full nudity was at first common place except during cold weather or and often clothes were ceremonial in nature. Nudity for comfort or due to warm weather; or imposed nudity to show an individuals lack or loss of status with in a social group was common. These practices were repeated through out history as newer better garments came into existance, the best furs, the best cloth the best leather, and the best styles showed status with in a tribe or social group.

Ancient Egyptian children were nude until puberty, women wore loose clothing, and men wore a kilt like garment without shoes or top. This style of dress went on for millenia, although other some neighboring cultures though less highly of such nudity.

In Ancient Greece nudity is prevelent in some areas, but not pracitced in all areas of Greece. In Minoan Crete, nudity was common among athletes and also among some cults. It was practiced predominately men and boys but also rarely by women and girls. In Sparta, It was much the same, only men and women athletes trained under strict requirements that included manditory nudity.

Sparta was also known for public nudity during festivals and public processions. In the case of women, this practice was designed to encourage virtue while the men were away at war. Although Aphrodite was portrayed nude, other women and godesses were generally sculptured clothed. The nude body of athletic men and teen aged boy was considered athletic and culticly aesthetic, as were nude boys, girls and women in a lesser extent.

Moscophoros (the “Calf-bearer”), is portrayed partially nude, but his genitals are completely exposed. Moscophoros was carrying a calf to a ritual slaughter, and the garment worn was only for preistly function. Depictions of erotic nudity were considered “normal”, as were use of public baths, nudity was not immoral, but reserved to certain areas and activities. Including the Olympic and other athletic contests, and even during some, but not all chariot races. Corporal punishment was also often perfomed with the punished nude.

Roman citizens generally saw nudity as rude, distasteful, or beneath them, although nudity was required in some traditional settings, and was considered a protrayal of male excellence in art and athletic contests. There were various grades of citizenship, and not everyone was a citizen. These forms of nudity came about due to Greek influence, and Toga were proper for citizens to wear, but nudity for full citizens was frowned upon.